Let's not underestimate the frankly unbelievable scores from Italy U20s yesterday

Massimo Cioffi had the ball on a string in Georgia yesterday.

IRELAND’S DEFEAT AT the hands of Italy in the World Rugby U20 Championship yesterday was a hugely disappointing result, watching the game back, it was clear there was some sorcery involved.

Source: World Rugby/YouTube

Not just for the Azzurri’s wonderful tries from Danilo Fischetti and Massimo Cioffi (be sure to catch them, along with Calvin Nash’s brace in the highlights above), but also for Cioffi’s un-frickin-believable touchline conversion to his own try.

The fullback needed to raise the flags to nudge Italy back into the lead after Ireland had stormed back from a 15 – 3 half-time deficit. A right-footed kicker on the right side of the field, he tried to bend it between the posts. For all the world it looked like he had too much swerve on, it was headed down and wide. World Rugby’s commentator reacted to the initial whip by saying: “it’s not going to get there”, before hastily eating his words and roaring his approval to the raised flags.

weird kick

Head coach Peter Malone did warn his side that defensive consistency was going to make all the difference in this tournament, citing a tendency to switch off for periods of games and invite teams in.

To Ireland’s credit though, they again showed they are capable of creating big moments even after going down 21 – 22, as Gavin Coombes forced his way over an Italian ruck to brilliantly jackal and earn a penalty chance. Unfortunately, centre Ciaran Frawley’s long-range drive just wasn’t graced with the same magic that Cioffi benefited from.

Ireland players dejected after the game Source: Achi Gegenava/INPHO

The Lazio fullback played a pivotal role in Italy’s second try of the day which was among World Rugby’s top five tries from day one.

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Source: World Rugby/YouTube

New Zealand opener in the 42 -20 win over Scotland from Tima Faingaanuku (off a glorious pass from Tiaan Falcon) is in there at number five. But if you ask us, the Baby Blacks grounded an even better score through hooker Asafo Aumua. Watch that, and get wary of Ireland’s next two opponents, in the highlights below.

Source: World Rugby/YouTube

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Sean Farrell

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